Can You Freeze Away Fat With Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy vs Cryolipolysis

Can You Freeze Away Fat With Cryotherapy?

There are a lot of benefits to both cryotherapy and cryolipolysis- but which one is right for you? Both of these procedures use extreme cold to achieve desired results and contribute to an overall increase in physical fitness. 

Today, we’re going to explore the origins of each treatment, and discuss how they can be used in conjunction with each other to give a major boost to our overall health and physical fitness.


Cryotherapy is any treatment that uses extreme cold for therapeutic purposes. The easiest, most basic form of cryotherapy is sitting in an ice bath after intense physical activity. Professional athletes use cryotherapy to reduce muscle and joint pain after a big game, or a hard workout. Even if you’ve just applied an ice pack to sore muscles, you’ve practiced a gentle form of cryotherapy.

In a spa or clinical setting, cryotherapy is often practiced in an extremely cold room, or by using a device that delivers an extremely cold temperature to the surface of the skin. This allows it to target all parts of the body evenly. It’s been advertised as extremely helpful for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or other types of joint pain.


Where cryotherapy treatments focus on the whole body, cryolipolysis targets a specific area. Instead of using a cold room or full-body machine to cool down skin and muscle, a smaller device is applied to one area of the body and left to go to work. 

The extreme cold freezes fat cells, and the body passes these dead cells naturally. This is the process that the popular beauty treatment CoolSculpting uses to get such great results.  

The Difference: Cryotherapy vs Cryolipolysis

Although they seem similar, and both use extreme cold in a therapeutic way, the truth is that these procedures are quite different from each other. Let’s explore how these two similar treatments offer such unique results.


There are some clinics offering whole body cryotherapy as a weightloss treatment. But be aware, these claims do not have conclusive research backing them up. Generally, people report positive effects on their joint and muscle pain from this treatment. If you’re curious about how to freeze fat away, you may want to check out CoolSculpting.

CoolSculpting, which uses cryolipolysis, only claims to be able to reduce fat cells in the small area where it is applied. The device has been on the market since 2010 and is backed up by FDA clearance and several studies attesting to its efficacy.


Each of these treatments targets a different part of the body. Cryotherapy uses a large cold enclosure (either a bath, small sauna-like room, or whole-body device) to bring the entire core body temperature down. This way, the entire body is targeted at once.  

During cryolipolysis, a technician will apply the device to a specific area of the body. Typical target areas include love handles, thighs, underarms, and even underneath the chin. The device applies an extremely cold temperature only to that target area. This helps to concentrate the freezing on those stubborn fat cells so they can be eliminated.


Overall, many people are more suspicious of cryotherapy because it makes so many different claims. Some clinics offer it for weight loss, while others tout it as a joint pain and muscle restorative. This makes results hard to guarantee.

The scientists and researchers who discovered cryolipolysis and created the CoolSculpting device only had one goal in mind- to freeze fat cells and reduce stubborn pockets of visible fat. Since 2016, CoolSculpting increased its presence in med spas around the world by 76%. The device’s popularity, combined with multiple positive studies, is a testament to the great results it can provide.

Finding the Right Treatment for You

Whether you’re suffering muscle/joint pain or want to find a way to get rid of stubborn fat, there’s a therapeutic cold treatment that’s right for you. If you have more questions about cryotherapy vs cryolipolysis, a doctor or plastic surgeon can help. They will be able to delve into your questions in detail and recommend the treatment that will get you the results you’re looking for.

At the Plastic Surgery Skin Clinic of Newmarket, our doctors are happy to offer free consultations to discuss all of your health and skincare needs. Contact us today to book yours.    

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